Category Archives: Catering

Brilliant Birch

Of course being from a rural area where birch covered our wooded land, these birch straws just struck my fancy.

These straws with a birch design on them are perfect for rustic and/or northwoods events and at $8.95 for a pack of 144 from CB2, this detail is brilliant without breaking the bank!  Oh, and not to mention they are very environmentally friendly!


April Showers aka April Flurries

This spring has been so odd weather-wise that I’m not entirely sure if the sweaters are out of sight, out of mind or if they should remain within arm’s reach.  As the saying goes April showers bring May flowers, but for some reason we’ve had more snow flurries than rain!

Regardless, everything was sunny (except the balloon raindrops, but even they were festive) at Lunds & Byerly’s Catering event.

Lunds Catering Raindrops

The event was held in the space above Lunds’ 12th & Hennepin store, with such a cute team, as they all wore wellies amidst the bright yellow and gray decor.  Super cute.

We had a chance to sample products from the Lunds & Byerly’s deli and bakery, as well as the sushi and Asian stir fry that is offered by partnering companies.  And yes, they can do interactive food stations.

Lunds Catering Crab Cake Station

Lunds Catering Cheese Station

Lunds Catering Sushi Boat

Lunds Catering Sushi Platter

And how can you go wrong with a sea of cupcakes?

Lunds Catering Sea of Cupcakes

Unfortunately, we couldn’t sample any of the breakfast donuts (topped off with cereal or bacon or sometimes candy), but I supposed they have to leave us wanting more!

Lunds Catering Breakfast Donuts

To contact Lunds & Byerly’s Catering, visit their website here!

Event Trending with Mintahoe

Mintahoe hosted a lovely affair at the Van Dusen last night to showcase event trends.

Pulling up to the mansion, the “red carpet” was the yards and yards long “train” of a gorgeous red dress worn by one of the Mintahoe employees.  I thought it rather clever.

The display of dishes at their food stations is a great alternative to just setting out food on a table.  And putting different items on each tier was a great way to vary the color and vessels to create visual interest.

Fun pail vessels held short ribs and vegetables at one station and sheperd’s pie at the other station.

Thanks Lisa for a nice evening!

A Balanced Menu

Creating a menu for your event can be confusing.  How many hors d’oeuvres?  Meat, fish or vegetarian?  Buffet, stations, seated dinner or all butler passed.  So many questions, which are important as catering is usually your biggest expense.

I usually recommend at least 45 minutes, but no more than one and a half hours for your cocktail reception.  Forty-five minutes is enough time for guests to not feel rushed, but too much longer than an hour and your guests start to get restless.

My two favorite parts of event planning are designing the look of the event and working with the chefs to develop the menu.  In fact, some long-term clients hire me specifically for just those two things.

These are some simple rules I try to follow when it comes to serving food at an event.

For a cocktail reception preceding dinner, serve three different hors d’oeuvres per guest.  Make sure you offer a variety.  For example, one beef, one seafood and one vegetarian.

D’Amico Catering’s samosas are among my favorite hors d’oeurves to serve at an event.  They are a guest favorite and can be offered in meat or vegetarian options.

If your event is just a cocktail party without dinner to follow, consider serving five to seven pieces per person.  Include at least one of each of the following (unless religious or lifestyle choices deem otherwise): beef, chicken and seafood; and two vegetarian.

Salad is generally expected when serving dinner and I love a good salad.  If you are going a little fancier, I have been integrating salad and soup duets and they have been a hit!  The portions are a bit smaller, but the presentation can be quite fun.

Minneapolis Club puts a great concentration on their food presentation and the chef is both creative and easy to work with!

For a seated dinner, I prefer entree choices versus duets.  It is so difficult to present two separate entrees cooked at its optimum on the same plate.  Beef used to be overwhelmingly the number one choice, but I have been noticing a trend that fish options are pretty darn close.  Most menu selections I see are beef, fish and vegetarian as options (although chicken is still very popular due to cost).  When working with your caterer, make sure you understand if there are additional charges for offering more than one entree selection.

If you are offering a buffet, make sure you offer a vegetarian option.  Vegetarian diets are becoming mainstream, due to so many dietary restrictions.

Stations as opposed to buffets can be much more entertaining, but I strongly recommend making sure that you are offering enough food, as well as a vegetarian option.  Ask the caterer what portion sizes they use at their stations.  Stations can be another area to present more creatively than just throwing food chafers on a table.